Tallinn, Estonia – July 11, 2015
Leslie and I are fortunate to be able to return to the beautiful city of Tallinn, Estonia. Our fortune is all the better because we shared the experience with Lorraine and Arlene. As our ship docked, we saw one of the many ferries also coming into port. It was dayglow green, so it was hard to miss.
After breakfast, we disembarked. We had a very long walk along the pier to the taxi stand. Once we finally made it to a taxi, we got in and asked the driver to drop us off at the tourist information office in the Old Town area of Tallinn. I knew that location had a taxi stand and it is only a block or two from the town hall plaza. As we neared our destination, Leslie and I began to recognize the places we visited when we lived there for a short two weeks.
Within minutes, the taxi driver deposited us at the tourist information center. We entered and got the requisite tourist maps and brochures. It was still early, so we decided to get a coffee and pass some time. We selected the Caffé Centrale for our coffee. The interior was rather eclectic. Our server, 19-year old Alice, was kind enough to pose for a photo with the very giddy duo of Lorraine and Arlene.
After coffee, we completed the short walk to the town hall plaza. There was a medieval festival in the area. The day we were there was the final day of the festival. The vendors in the square sold various handmade crafts. We stopped at a booth where the man and woman made wooden items accented with woven strands of wood. While we stood there, the man took thin pieces of wood and drew them through a long-knife. That was how he made the strands used in weaving around the wooden items. Leslie bought a trivet. It is a cross-section of a piece of wood about six inches in diameter. On one edge, there are holes through which they weave the small strips of wood. The article is accented with pieces of amber, a substance that is abundant in Estonia. For a handmade craft, it was surprisingly inexpensive at only 7€.
We noticed bicycle cabs in the plaza. Leslie stopped one of the boys, Maxim, and asked him to take Lorraine and Arlene for a ride. We sat at a street-side café to wait for them to return. Shortly after they left, the heavens opened up. The trip lasted about 20-minutes. When they returned, they joined us at the table under the umbrella. We sat there and waited out the rain.
When the rain ended, we decided it was time for lunch. We ate at the Olde Estonia Inn, the same place Leslie and I had lunch when we were in Tallinn in January. Unfortunately, we did not think the lunch was quite as good at this visit. Regardless, ironically our server was the same young woman that waited on us in January. It almost seemed like an old home week. She very obviously remembered us.
After lunch, we walked back to the tourist information center. The women waited there while I ran up the hill about two blocks. I wanted to see if a store Leslie and I had visited in January was open. Unfortunately, it was not open. My trip was not a total loss. I was able to photograph the blue door. It is simply a blue entry door to some apartments. I just liked the colors.
A little shopping later and we got back in a taxi to go back to the cruise ship. For some reason, taxis are not allowed to go all the way to the original taxi stand at which we hailed the first taxi that morning. That meant we had an even longer walk to get back to the point to board the ship. Once we made it to the smooth concrete of the pier, Arlen sat on her walker, and I pushed her to the boarding point.
Tallinn, Estonia is one of my favorite cities on this planet.
That evening was one of the formal dining nights onboard, so we all dressed up. We had some photos made in the piazza area of the ship before going into our dining room. Quite frankly, I would have been just as happy to go to dinner in my jeans.
After the ship left Tallinn, heading for St. Petersburg, Russia, we saw a fantastic sunset.
We were excited about our upcoming visit to St. Petersburg.